Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology

Illinois Biophysics Hosts the Third Annual Graduate Research & Networking Symposium

IB Symposium

The Illinois Biophysics (IB) Third Annual Graduate Research & Networking Symposium was held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Illini Union on April 19th, 2022. The student-led event featured research presentations, poster sessions, discussion groups, and valuable opportunities for academic and social networking.

This year’s symposium hosted over 70 attendees including undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral research associates, and faculty from several departments across campus. Attendees had the opportunity to learn about the research activities led by Biophysics students through the multiple posters and images presented throughout the symposium.

At the meeting, poster presenters showcased their research in a poster competition moderated by invited postdoctoral judges based on the following criteria: Scientific rigor, oral presentation, organization, and visual aesthetic. Students Hale Hasdemir and Chandana Gopalakrishnappa received the Judges’ Select Awards for their posters titled “Microscopic view of interaction and binding of SRC-SH2 domain to plasma membrane” and “High-dimensional characterization of phototroph-heterotroph interactions”, respectively. Symposium attendees also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite poster and chose Thu Vu Phuc Nguyen’s “Co-infecting phages delay each other's entry into the cell” as recipient of the Popular Choice Award. Rohit Vaida’s “The Colorful Neuron” was also voted Best Scientific Image among all the scientific images on display.

The afternoon session featured talks by Professors Charles Sing, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Ido Golding, Department of Physics, and Zaida Luthey-Schulten, Department of Chemistry, who shared snippets of their academic journeys and career experiences. Professor Sing charmed the audience with a talk about his love for his academic textbooks and companion cats; Professor Golding recounted how his academic journey shaped and developed his scientific aesthetic into what it is today; and Professor Luthey-Schulten closed by iterating the importance of intercommunication between the unique and diverse talents of students and faculty for yielding fruitful and synergistic collaborations.

The Third Annual Graduate Research & Networking Symposium marked IB’s first major, in-person event after the COVID lockdown and reflected the student organization’s commitment to supporting and connecting humans in the biophysics community at UIUC and at large. “We aimed to create a warm and positive experience for all!” says IB’s President Eric Shinn. “And we are very grateful to our sponsors, The Biophysical Society and UIUC’s Center for Biophysics and Quantitative Biology, for their continued support of this annual event.”

Published June 27, 2022 19:07